Alexander McQueen “Golden Shower” SS 1998 R-T-W

“Golden Shower”, is a vile and erotic phrase aptly used for Alexander McQueen’s 1998 Spring/Summer collection. The title was conjured by Lee in direct response to the sponsors of the show American Express and the upcoming launch of their new Gold Card in the UK. However, it was later replaced by the title, “Untitled”, due to Golden Showers’s sexual and grim connotations. 

The theme, however, did not change, Lee as defiant as he is to the status quo sent out piss-coloured invitations hinting at an even more pissy event. In my opinion, this show was one of the best physical manifestations of an idea I’ve ever seen. This show revealed the heights McQueen could reach with the help of money. Located at the Gatliff Road warehouse in London’s victorian neighbourhood, it was an odd yet unsurprising place to host a fashion show by Lee’s standards. The set design was made up of perspex glass stages filled with water for the models to walk on which displayed Lee’s use of elements. 

Sounds of rain, thunder and lightning rang across the room, suddenly the room went quiet and a tune of metal clanging introduced us to models dressed in provocative and bizarre clothing. I enjoyed how the women specifically walked in the show as though they were meant for it. The masterful tailoring of McQueen could be seen in every look that touched the stage. Various looks were to my liking which says a lot considering the fact that I am not a fan of vibrant clothing, especially when yellow is used. 

Look 2 did however catch my eye despite that, the use of barely any fabric for a top created a top to remember, both when layered and alone. Likewise, look 3 also caught my attention as the shades of yellow and material used for the trench coat left me satisfied. Look 26 was hands down my favourite look from the styling to model selection, I am not much of a formal dresser but the pinstripes on that look coupled with the tie created an air I’d never felt before.

I noted the use of Shaun Leane’s accessories again, specifically his silver jawbones and silver spine corset. Both pieces nodded at Lee’s fascination with human anatomy and his goal to metamorphize humans. I believe through his use of said jewelry, the masks and horns, he wanted to create new beings or at least strip them of their human identity. In the same manner, we were met with masculine appearing men wearing heeled sandals and tube tops flipping the roles as women appeared to hold the power. 

It’s safe to say that the next half of the show left everyone’s jaw dropped. The music changed, black vapours appeared in the clear perspex glass and there was a shift as a downpour of golden rain ushered a new wave of models and looks. Makeup sloppy, outfits all white, it was a rebirth. To my understanding, it was a contrast like no other, Corruption versus Honesty, a sick game that came to unfold before my very eyes. In the latter half, Looks 75, 95 and 100 were my favourite. Each look simple yet effective, a case where the clothes spoke for themselves.

Everything about this show screamed defiance, specifically well-thought and executed defiance. Gender Identity, Gender Roles, Purity and Corruption were all tackled in one show. This was the first time we’ve seen so many looks from Lee, yet he served us well. This show gave us a glimpse at the depth of Lee’s creative abilities and limits, it displayed Lee’s ability when given resources to work with and further improvement as a result of it. Additionally, this was the debut of one of the greatest supermodels in the world Gisele Bündchen, who rose to her position through McQueen’s support. 

These factors are my reason for documenting this show as one of his most iconic ones, even if only personally, I loved it to its core.

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